A New Way to Track an Age-Old Killer

New device monitors blood pressure via aorta instead of arm, promises to revolutionize treatment

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Scientists at the University of Leicester at Singapore have developed a blood pressure-reading device that is set to revolutionize diagnostic technology.

By measuring blood pressure in the aorta -- the largest artery in the body, originating from the left ventricle of the heart, and closer to the heart and brain -- the new device gives medical professionals a more accurate assessment of blood pressure, according to deveopers.

Blood pressure, when consistently high (defined as 140 mm/Hg over 90 mm/Hg or above), increases risk of stroke and heart disease.

The Department of Health's National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), along with the Department of Health, funded development of the device. It remains to be seen if the device will be incorporated into routine clinical practice.

Study leader Bryan Williams, professor of medicine at the University of Leicester and consultant physician at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, said he is certain of the "magnitude of the change this technique will bring about."

Williams said it would be difficult to argue that pressure recorded in the aorta would be less accurate than pressure monitored in the arm, which is where blood pressure is usually monitored.

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Review Date: 
February 22, 2011
Last Updated:
February 22, 2011